At Mobile Marketing we're proud to help tech companies showcase their cutting-edge solutions, whether it's on our website, in our magazine or at our Mobile Marketing Summits. Giving a platform to companies that are breaking new ground in their market brings audiences one step closer to the ideas and developments that will shape tomorrow.
In that spirit, our Innovation Lab feature takes a step beyond the world of apps, ads and handsets with slightly bigger screens, in order to share some of the tech world's innovative ideas. They might be interesting, disruptive or just outright strange, but these are the stories that have caught our eye over the past week.
IBM's Watson Creates Algorithmically Perfect Movie Trailer
Having just emerged from summer blockbuster season, it's easy to have movie trailer fatigue, especially when many of them are edited together in fairly predictable fashion. So predictable, in fact, that IBM were able to set their Watson supercomputer to creating an algorithmically-generated trailer.
The trailer was created for 20th Century Fox's new film Morgan, which itself deals with an artificially created intelligence, making it an appropriate subject matter for a trailer put together by a computer.
In order to make the trailer, Watson analysed the trailers of over 100 horror and thriller films, comparing musical scores, scene composition and the emotions displayed by actors. It then picked the 10 best moments for a trailer to include.
Watson wasn't able to directly edit the film together, with the IBM team bringing in a filmmaker to stitch the scenes together, but the use of artificial intelligence did cut the trailer-making process down from the industry average of 10-30 days to just 24 hours.
New Streaming Service Offers VR Girlfriend Experience
The adult industry wields a lot of power when it comes to technology – it helped decide the VHS vs Betamax war of the 1980s and pioneered online payment technology. Now, a new service is pushing VR into unexplored territory with a "virtual girlfriend experience".
AliceX aims to provide a completely immersive experience that connects users with live models in virtual environments. The service uses an in-browser virtual reality system, so no app or software has to be downloaded, but users do need a virtual reality headset.
At the moment the service is compatible with devices like the Samsung Gear VR and Zeiss VR One, as well as the cut-price Google Cardboard (when combined with a high-end smartphone), and the company has plans for integrating the Oculus Rift and iOS systems.
While the streams are provided in HD, the virtual environments seem to be rather low-quality, which may mar the experience for those looking to create the virtual illusion of spending time with a real girlfriend. However, the combination of adult cam sites, virtual reality and "girlfriend experience"-style interaction could well point towards the future of adult entertainment.
Spray Coating Lets Watermelon Survive 150ft Drop
Dropping a watermelon from 45m up will usually result in an obliterated watermelon, but YouTube channel How Ridiculous decided to test out one that had been treated with Line-X, a special protective spray and found it miraculously survived.
When dropped, the watermelon instead bounced high before coming to a halt, with a slow-motion replay revealing a fairly elastic reaction to hitting the ground from 150ft up. Despite the outer surface warping considerably, when finally opened up, the watermelon had survived relatively intact, with only one hole in the skin where it had made impact, and slightly-mushed flesh.
Line-X coating is usually used on vehicles to protect bedliners and other accessories, but has also been put to use in the Pentagon to protect against explosions. Developed over 20 years, the coating uses a combination of polyurethanes, polyureas, aliphatic and hybrid coatings that protect on a molecular level.
Xerox's Latest Creation Can Print on Anything
Most inkjet printers struggle to cope with anything beyond paper and thin card, but the new Direct to Object Inkjet Printer from Xerox can place images, photos and text on more or less any object you can imagine.
The Direct to Object printer uses a unique architecture of nozzles that are half as wide as a human hair, capable of accurately spraying ink at a distance of around half a centimeter. This means objects as small as a bottle cap can be printed with custom imagery at resolutions up to 1,200 DPI.
The device can print on plastic, ceramic, metal and glass, and uses special image processing algorithms to account for irregular, warped or distorted surfaces, ensuring the printed image remains legible.
“This innovation opens up a path for creating customized products instantly at a time when the consumer’s appetite is all about personalisation,” said Brendan Casey, vice president of Xerox Engineering Services. “Imagine a sports fan coming home from a game with a helmet or ball that was personalized right at the stadium, or a retailer offering on-demand personalisation on hundreds of different store items.”
Australia's New $5 Bill Almost Impossible to Counterfeit
While many of the world's economies are pushing towards cashless transaction, there's plenty of consumers still using cash day-to-day, which makes foiling counterfeiters a crucial effort.
Australia is in the top 10 cashless nations, but that hasn't stopped it from rolling out a new $5 bill which will be one of the hardest in the world to counterfeit. The note features a top-to-bottom clear section, holograms, 'rolling colour' sections and a tactile section that also helps the visually impaired identify their money.
Australia was the first country to introduce polymer bills in 1988, switching entirely to the material in 1996. The Australian Mint is so respected it even produces cash for other countries around the world, helping them ensure their own currency is protected.